May 23, 2019

BY GARRETT BURCHETT

Whose Live Anyway? was at the Centre in the Square on Oct. 3, and it didn’t take long for the laughter to start.

The comedic stylings of Ryan Stiles, Greg Proops, Jeff Davis and Joel Murray were on full display. The four had the sold-out theatre laughing uncontrollably during the 90-minute show of improv, songs, dance and other skits.

The show was so popular and so successful in years past, that Centre in the Square brought it back, despite their desire to maintain a lineup of fresh new shows. Greg Henderson, programming manager at Centre in the Square, said the show is “different every time.”

“People just gravitate towards (the show), it’s amazing,” he said. “It’s just a wicked audience and wicked talent on stage.”

The gang performed a number of the most popular games from the original Emmy-nominated show, such as “ballad of,” “change of company” and “greatest hits,” as well as some original ones.

Part of the great success of the show was the contributions from the audience. The cast would call on audience members to make suggestions for skits, asking them to name anything from their favourite historical period to their favourite movie, and then incorporated those answers flawlessly into the performance, regardless of what the answer was.

Several members of the audience were asked to join the cast on-stage, to take part in various ways, such as providing sound effects, controlling the actors’ motions during the scenes, or having their life story sung back to them by Davis, reggae style.

The show flew by. The actors kept the laughter going, never extending scenes too long, and transitioning quickly from one scene to the next. By the time the show ended with Proops and Davis singing a 1980’s-style rock ballad about mouth-to-mouth resuscitation (yes, you read that right) it hardly felt like 20 minutes had passed, much less 90.

But I guess time flies while you’re holding your side in laughter.

Henderson believes that having the Centre in the Square in town brings so much to the community, but mostly, it brings an opportunity to see vibrant local, national and international acts.

Some upcoming acts include: Darcy Oake, a world-class illusionist who gained fame on Britain’s Got Talent, who will perform on Nov. 16; and Once, a new one-night only Broadway musical that won eight Tony Awards in 2012. It will be held on April 14, 2016.

“(Once) is a coup for us … It’s a journey of living your dreams and the music that connects all of us,” Henderson said.

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